Peter Thiel's Venture Firm Quietly Buying Bitcoin Since 2012

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It's unclear whether Founders Fund has sold any cryptocurrency holdings since initial purchase.

In financing the infrastructure to support bitcoin, investors such as Draper Associates and Andreessen Horowitz have taken a reasonable approach, investing in blockchain technology rather than buying bitcoin itself.

Over the past year, the value of bitcoin has shot up rapidly. The WSJ cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, who said that Founders Fund, a venture-capital firm co-founded by Thiel, had invested around $15 million to $20 million, which has grown into hundreds of millions thanks to the cryptocurrency's rise over the past year. In the hours following the release of the Journal report, the cryptocurrency surged upward in price by almost $1,000 after early trading that had already been on a more modest upward trend. That Bitcoin is now worth some hundreds of millions of dollars and is spread across multiple different subsidiary funds held by the firm.

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Peter Thiel, via his Founders Fund, has apparently made an sizable bet on the rising value of Bitcoin.

The confirmation of Thiel's hand in Bitcoin is perhaps ultimately unsurprising, as the venture capitalist commented back in the fall that "If bitcoin ends up being the cyber-equivalent of gold it has a great potential left".

Bitcoin rose above its $15,000 plateau, despite spending much of Monday below US$13,000. We know Thiel has been a bitcoin fan for a good while now, but you would think he'd have expanded his tastes a bit since in the past few years.

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Bitcoin peaked in mid-December at $19,800 but dropped by more than one-third to $12,500 right before Christmas.

In today's trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $14,997.40, as of 11:41 GMT.

Speaking with Fox Business Network in October, he said that while he was sceptical of most cryptocurrencies, bitcoin is "very underestimated".

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